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Frequently Asked Questions



When we chat about ski equipment, we're talking about skis and boots. There's loads of information out there about this, but i get confusing depending where you hear it and who from. These are performance ski courses and therefore certain kit is essential.


Getting good ski boots really makes the difference,  but the compromise between comfort and performance can be tricky. Getting your boots fitted by a professional is key and often going one size below your measured size means once the foam liner has padded out, your boot will quickly fit like a glove. There's nothing worse than the boot becoming too big after a few weeks and having to go shopping again!


A good set of piste skis could mean the difference between a pass or fail! We recommend a something between 12-15m radius for most of the instructor training courses. Hight depending somewhere 150-175cm and between 65-80mm at the waist of the ski.

The Ski Academy is sponsored by HEAD and therefore we can extend a massive discount of up to 40% on ski equipment, as well as other brands and local shops in town.

As always, get in touch for more info



We’ve made a commitment to providing fantastic GAP course accommodation in resort. You’ll always get great quality self catered shared accommodation with en-suite bathrooms in each bedroom.

We also offer a range of extended accommodation options – so you can stay a few more weeks or right through until the end of the season. Just get in touch for more information.

If you want details about packages we offer in Saas Fee just click here to find out more about the resort, the course, the dates and the prices.


Getting a job

After you've completed your training and you're a qualified ski instructor you might want to get a job. We use our connections from all around the Alps and further afield to help you find your perfect job. We also partner with the Swiss Ski School in Saas Fee where based on the completion of a successful interview, some jobs will be available to the right candidates. Our in resort manager will be on hand to help out with these things among many others...



Once your qualified you might want to get a job? So you'll want to think about how much you'll earn of course how much living costs are. Remember, just because you might earn more per hour it won't always make you better off... If you are working in a cheaper country this will pay a huge factor into how much money you'll have left to play with after outgoings


Level 1: 15 chf – 25 chf per hour
Level 2: 20 chf – 30 chf per hour



Level 1: €10 – €16 per hour
Level 2: €15 – €22 per hour



Level 1: 1,000 – 1,500 JPY per hour
Level 2: 1,200 – 1,800 JPY per hour



Level 1: $14 – $17 per hour
Level 2: $17 – $20 per hour


Ability Level

We often get asked about ability level before signing up to our gap courses and it's a tricky one there are many factors at play i.e. time skied, fitness, previous injuries, confidence etc

We think around 4/5 weeks of skiing provides a good base and the abitily to ski confidently on red pistes. This often makes the decision easier when booking onto a course, but if in doubt send us a video of your skiing on a red run and in this case a video speaks a thousend words!

As per usual, for more info get in touch




This is a very common question, and one we can answer. EU citizens will not need any visa or permit for our courses. If you decide to work you will need a work permit, this might be tricky for British passport holders until there is some kind of agreement in place. We will be watching closely to see what happens here.

Non-EU citizens can join our Swiss course on a Tourist Visa and sometimes without a visa at all. You don’t need a Student Visa or a Working Visa to take part.

However, for some nationalities it is beneficial to have a Student Visa for the course as you can then stay longer.

An example would be in Switzerland an American or Australian trainee is able to stay for a maximum of 180 days on a Student Visa. This could mean plenty of time for the course and a few months to travel around Europe afterwards.

If you intend to work then the rules are more restrictive almost everywhere. Get in touch with us and we will discuss options.


Average Ages

To start a course at The Ski Academy we normally require you to be over 18 (or getting close), but technically you can be 16 on the level 1 exam and 18 for the level 2.

Who typically joins?

Generally speaking most people who decide to book onto a gap course are 18-22 years old - this is the most common category of students, but this doesn't apply to everyone. We often have people sign up who are looking for career changes in their 20's & 30's and it's common for people leaving the forces to retrain as a ski instructor. Often the best courses are with a mix of ages and people with different backgrounds - these make make to the most interesting groups.

Male / Female mix?

In the past we found there was a ratio of around 70% male students booking onto instructor courses, but these days we find it's closer to 50/50 boys to girls.

Ultimately we have a great time and our skiers start to realise there's no such thing as age in a ski resort



We ask for 10% to be paid at the time of booking, this secures the place and helps us plan course numbers. Then ten weeks before the course start we ask that the full amount is then paid.

We do understand that you may need to pay in instalments or the 10 week period may not suit you, if that's the case then just get in touch and we'll find a solution that works.

Depending on your invoice, you will have to pay in either CHF or GBP.

It’s important that you pay in the currency that your invoice states.

Ie. please don’t transfer Swiss Francs if your invoice is for British Pounds or vice versa.

As always, if you aren’t sure then get in touch



It is the trainees responsibility to have the correct insurance. This needs to cover medical expenses, accidental injury, evacuation from the mountain, off-piste skiing, repatriation and third party liability.

We strongly recommend you also have cancelation and/or curtailment cover as well was cover for your personal possessions.

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